Saturday, August 03, 2013

Adventure stories for adults

The phrase page-turner is a highly subjective one. To some it's the single best description they can hear to be enticed to a book, while for others it implies moronic, endless-cliffhanger rubbish. And of course it can be a bit a of both. I read Child 44 earlier this year, the first 'page-turner' I've read in years, and I highly enjoyed it. Both for that longing to continue reading when each chapter ended with a twist or moment of drama, but also because it was an engrossing story. 

Most page-turners are, though, based around notions of terror and horror. How many awful-sounding novels do you see advertised on the walls of stations saying things like, "A horrific murder, a missing child, no time left... - Read the new thriller from..." and it sounds like utter rubbish. Yet these books, like those by Lee Child for example, sell by the millions and must have something to them. Yet I have no interest in reading about horrible murders or about ex-military types solving crimes where half a page is given to clinical descriptions of guns and cars.

This got me thinking, why are there no 'adventure' stories for adults? As children tales of pirates and treasure and all those sort of things were what you craved (see TinTin) and as adults, we still enjoy this - see the films of Indiana Jones or Back to the Future, but I don't know many books of this kind. Books that employ a shameless page-turning strategy, but cover adventure and escapades, without resorting to the darkest recesses of the human mind to stimulate interest.

Perhaps I'll write something, before anyone else has this idea. However, perhaps there are such books out there - if so please let me know!

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